Thursday, February 08, 2007

My condition: hypergraphia

"Many suffer from the incurable disease of writing, and it becomes chronic in their sick minds."

Such an apt description of myself!

Who'd have thought? There's actually a medical explanation for my excessive desires to write. While it's not considered a "disorder", it is associated with epilepsy, mania and schizophrenics.


Of course, I don't really have hypergraphia. (Only mild tendencies at best.) I've never felt the need to write so urgently that I scribbled down a thought on toilet paper if nothing else was available. Conversely, when I get an itch to write it's not easily ignored and, if I must confess, not something I want to ignore.

It's somewhat encouraging to know authors of the caliber of Tennyson, Poe, and Dostoevsky all experienced hypergraphia. But it's quite discouraging to think I have the drive but not the talent. Kind of a Rudy situation, but with much less skill, no coach and no hope of a movie being made about me someday.

After reading to this point in the post, my wife asked, "Would you rather be loony with more talent?"

I considered her question.

No. I'm fine being mildly loony and even less talented. I'll continue pecking away at the keyboard and scratching away in my journal, grateful for the desire to write and grateful that desire isn't to write about chopping people up in the bathtub and hiding their limbs under my floorboards. There are always methods of improving talent but there aren't always ways of decreasing looniness. Savvy, Poe?